Pre-Victors: The Complete Set 1925-1927

Pre-Victors: The Complete Set 1925-1927

by Fess Williams
     
 
Retrieval, one of the early 21st century's finest classic jazz reissue labels, presents most but not all of the records Fess Williams made as a bandleader before he became a Victor recording artist in April of 1929. A phrase like "The Complete Set" (used by Retrieval on other equally fine collections) is pleasantly misleading, as several "Pre-Victor" titles were

Overview

Retrieval, one of the early 21st century's finest classic jazz reissue labels, presents most but not all of the records Fess Williams made as a bandleader before he became a Victor recording artist in April of 1929. A phrase like "The Complete Set" (used by Retrieval on other equally fine collections) is pleasantly misleading, as several "Pre-Victor" titles were omitted, but who cares! Here are 24 decidedly rare early Fess Williams recordings, cut between October 1925 and June 1927 for the Gennett, Vocalion, and Brunswick labels. Williams was a more or less vaudevillian performer whose lively vocals, slap tongue sax, and clarinet technique was appropriate for the lighthearted hot jazz arrangements used by his Royal Flush Orchestra. Players have been identified as trumpeters George Temple and Kenneth Roane; trombonist David "Jelly" James; reedmen Perry Smith and Otto Mikell; brass bassist Clinton Walker, pianist Henry Duncan, banjoist Ollie Blackwell, and drummer Ralph Bedell. You'll find most everything here to be zippy, flamboyant, and peculiarly uplifting. The Royal Flush sound may bring to mind the Washingtonians, the early Fletcher Henderson and Luis Russell orchestras, various groups led by cornetist Thomas Morris, or Bix Beiderbecke & the Wolverines. The band book contains tunes associated with Cook's Dreamland Orchestra and cornetist Freddie Keppard ("High Fever" and "Messin' Around"); with Louis Armstrong's Hot Five ("Heebie Jeebies"), Fletcher Henderson ("Variety Stomp"); pianist Arthur Schutt, who composed the "Green River Blues," and Fats Waller, who wrote the "Alligator Crawl." If you've been feeling abused by everyday life in the post-industrial future, this scrumptious slice of long-overlooked early jazz might be just exactly what you need.

Product Details

Release Date:
04/10/2007
Label:
Retrieval Records
UPC:
0608917903225
catalogNumber:
79032

Related Subjects

Tracks

Album Credits

Performance Credits

Fess Williams   Primary Artist,Clarinet,Alto Saxophone,Vocals
Gene Mikell   Clarinet,Alto Saxophone,Baritone Saxophone,Bass Saxophone
Kenneth Roane   Trumpet
Clinton Walker   Bowed Bass
Henry Duncan   Piano
Ralph Bedell   Drums
David James   Trombone
George Temple   Trumpet
Perry Smith   Clarinet,Tenor Saxophone,Vocals

Technical Credits

Kenneth Roane   Arranger
John R.T. Davies   Original Material
Fess Williams   Arranger,Director
Charles Fulcher   Composer
Duke Yellman   Composer
Mark Berresford   Liner Notes,Original Material
Marcel van den Broek   Cover Design
Chris Ellis   Producer

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